Tips For Passing Your Checkride

Flight schools have one goal, teaching you whatever you need to know to pass your checkride. Don’t get me wrong, they want you to be a safe pilot as well. It’s not just about passing the check ride. They know, if you pass the check ride, you’ll also be a safe pilot. Your CFI would never sign off your log book if he wasn’t confident in your ability to fly safely. He’ll soon be sharing the skies with you.

As you study and prep for the oral portion of the exam, as you practice your manuevers over and over and over, and as you go over the entire process for planning your cross country, there are a few extra things you can do to help make the process much more pleasant.

Your CFI may or may not share these with you. Always ask your CFI if the information or advice you’re getting from this website or any other is in line with his teaching. He’s the final authority.

  1. As you’re taxi out to do your run-up, do NOT ride those breaks. Move the throttle back to a comfortable pace. You shouldn’t be moving much faster than a normal human could walk (briskly).
  2. Use the checklist for EVERYTHING! NEVER NEVER NEVER do anything by memory. On an engine out or other emergency, you should know the first couple steps and execute those as your reaching for that checklist.
  3. Every manuever should be done while you talk outloud to yourself through the process. That way the examiner knows you didn’t do a step without thinking about it.
  4. Your checkride is another opportunity to learn. Be open to the examiners way of doing things. I learned a lot on my check ride and still passed.
  5. Only ask the question you were asked. The more you talk, the more line you give the examiner. Don’t be rude about it but don’t dig yourself into a hole. Never come off as trying to “impress” the examiner. He/she will take that as a challange and I promise, you’ll lose.
  6. Spend some time at the airport where you’ll be taking your exam. If this isn’t your home airport, you’ll want to spend a good chunk of time there. Learn all the runway options and any landmarks that could help on your check ride.
  7. When you dial in a VOR, make sure you turn up the audio and verify it’s the correct VOR you’re using. Many a student has been caught on this one.
  8. Be as organized as possible! You do not want to have to fumble through your sectional or A/FD when you’re examiner is diverting your flight during the cross-country. Take the extra time to get everything organized before you leave the ground.
  9. Always, always, always do your clearing turns. This should be SO engrained in your head before you get signed off on your check ride. Do NOT for get this. If you execute a flawless steep turn, but didn’t to a clearing turn before hand, you’ll fail.
  10. You are not a pilot on command. Go out there confident. It’s YOUR plane and the examiner is just another passenger. If you look to him/her for guidance, you’ll look weak and illprepared.
  11. Remember, if the examiner doesn’t say “you’ve failed”, then odds are, you passed. Go into those final landings confident and reassured, regardless of how you THINK things have gone up to that point.
  12. If you fail a portion of the check ride, ask if you can continue on with the remainder of the flight. When you come out to re-do the check ride, you’ll only have to do the portion you failed.
  13. Lastly, make sure you get a goods nights sleep and RELAX! The examiner WANTS to pass you.

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